Greetings from Disney World in Orlando, FL! Today was day two at Disney after driving over from Louisiana over the weekend. We love coming to Disney, because at age 7, Bo still enjoys the rides and attractions while Mom and Dad get to relax because Disney offers so many peanut safe dining options. This is our second trip to Disney since Bo's peanut allergy diagnosis and we can't say enough wonderful things about how well Disney takes care of special dietary requests for park guests with peanut and other food allergies.
Yesterday we ate dinner at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe at Disney's Magic Kingdom. We ended up at this cafe because we got hungry before our reservation time at The Plaze Restaurant. The menu at Cosmic Ray's consists of burgers, salads, chicken, sandwiches (including peanut butter). Normally the peanut butter sandwiches would have made us turn and walk out but a wonderful staff member (Lynn?) came to our rescue and reassured us that the peanut butter sandwiches were pre-packaged and individually sealed, not made on-site. Furthermore, she personally took our order and coordinated with the kitchen staff to have Bo's chicken nuggets brought straight from the fryer to the counter, ensuring no risk of cross contamination. Though the cafe features quick service type food, everyone's food was good.
Today at Epcot, we had a fantastic italian lunch at Tutto Italia Ristorante. When we arrived, we informed Claudio the Manager, that we had reservations and of Bo's peanut allergy. He immediately reassured us Bo's food allergy would not be a problem and sat us at a nice outdoor table. Our waiters, Enrico and Matteo, took good care of us, including swapping out the table breads for a more limited selection but that only included peanut safe choices.
Bo's spaghetti, mom's pasta alfredo and dad's lasagna were absolutely delicious. It was so exciting to sit down as a family to a nice restaurant meal that we could all eat with a fork, without being paranoid about peanuts or cross contamination! Along the way, the staff even taught Bo some conversational Italian!
Towards the end of lunch, Claudio reminded us that the only peanut safe dessert on the menu was the fresh fruit. But we had a different dessert surprise in store for Bo. We had noticed in the special diet information packet Brenda Bennett at Disney had mailed to us prior to our arrival, that the Nestle premium ice cream Mickey Bars are made on a seperate line making them completely nut free and safe. Ice cream is such a rare treat for Bo, to seem him eat ice cream at a public park like all the other kids was amazing and a little emotional at the same time.
So far Bo's favorite rides/attractions have been Space Mountain, Test Track, Thunder Mountain, and Soarin!
Thanks Disney, for allowing our peanut allergic boy to have a "normal" magical day!
More Peanut Desensitization Results Plus Another Duke Study
We recently received e-mails updates from another family whose young son is in the same peanut allergy desensitization study at Arkansas Children's Hospital as Bo. His mom said that he had an anaphylatic reaction about 2 years ago to a peanut and a half.
Well, he recently completed year one of the peanut allergy desensitization treatment study and passed his food challenge with just some rash and a hive. After the food challenge, his treatment was unblinded where it was revealed he had been getting real peanut the first year. Now, a few weeks later, this boy is eating 26 peanut M&Ms every day as his daily treatment dosage!
Another great e-mail we received was from the mom of a peanut allergic child who said reading Bo's blog helped give her the courage to enroll her child in a peanut allergy SLIT (sublingual immunotherapy) study taking enrollments at Duke. (We believe the link above to be the correct one for this current study).
We will provide more updates from Disney over the next few days.